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In The Loop: World Water Day

by Riley Studio |

Today is World Water Day, and this year it is about tackling our current water crisis, and addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. SDG 6 is Clean Water and Sanitation and the aim is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030.

Water is an increasingly stressed resource and is recognised as one of the key challenges of the 21st century, with over a third of the global population living in water-stressed countries. Billions of people today are still living without safe water, so we wanted to look at the role of the fashion industry in relation to safe water. Water and fashion come hand in hand. It is estimated that the volume of water consumed by the fashion industry today is nearly 79 billion m3 annually – enough to fill 32 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. Furthermore, 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dying and treatment, including cotton processing. 

So how can we change this? How can we stop this huge drain on our planet’s natural resources?   

At Riley Studio, we made a promise to create garments only using recycled materials or organic natural fibres, so that we could dramatically reduce the use of water and our impact on the environment. To give you an example, we used Recot²® for our t-shirts, which is a blend of 25% recycled cotton and 75% organic cotton. Recot²® are able to save 5,000 litres of water per kilogram of yarn. If you break that down to our t-shirts, that means we have saved 1,500 litres of water for each t-shirt.

There are many people across the world also trying to solve this problem, and we came across the Cotton Diaries. Within the first episode, Dipak Mahato and his company SeaChange Technologies has created a water purification system that promised to eliminate effluent waste and reduce the mass of waste by up to 95%. Could this technology turn off the tap on fashion’s waste water?

Watch the Video here.